“There is nothing more gut-wrenching and heartbreaking than seeing a heartless soul throwing the dead carcass of a three foot long infant Dolphin onto a gutting barge.”- E Malama

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I never know where to start with my blogs on slaughter days… Maybe my introduction is the slideshow. I have no idea what to say. I know what I am thinking, but I’m afraid of what might come out. Then again, my best writing is when I don’t think about it… so here it goes

3:30 am and my dads phone alarm goes off. I had finally fallen asleep around 11:30… I don’t know when my dad got to bed, so you can imagine how tired we were and it’s not like we were getting up to go to Disney land or something. We were out the door by 4:15 and throwing everything into the trunk of the car. It was freezing!! It was not as dark out side as it usually is… there were no clouds so the moonlight lit up the pavement a little. I was so upset while we were driving to the Cove, all I could picture in my mind was that infant dolphin. (We were mistaken in what kind of Dolphins were driven into the Cove, they were not Bottle-nose but Stripped dolphins, they had a Bottle-nose but it was white. These dolphins are a lot smaller than Bottle-nose however, so most I thought were adolescent were full grown. But there is no denying the fact that a three foot long baby was jumping around yesterday, I tried to get it on film but he was too quick).

The Cove this morning was freezing! I realized that I not only forgot my gloves, but my hat, and my warmer shoes (boots). We didn’t expect it to be that cold. Thank god I had a little hand warmer, I kept stuffing it in my shirt or up my sleeves! haha. Around 5:30 the sun started to show… there were still no trainers? Hmm. It was really strange, where they just going to kill? No trainers to pick any out first? It was not looking good…. but then I decided to check out the parking lot, maybe they were hiding in their cars to keep from being talked too. Sure enough, when Rex and I walked up there, this women in a wetsuit was in the parking lot on the phone. She caught one glance of me and she RAN to her car. And then hung up the phone, she went speeding into the tunnel towards Taiji. They were getting into the boats over there!!! I ran down the hill and convinced my dad to go over there. Sure enough, as we pulled up the trainer boat and the fishermen boats where just leaving the harbor. We had just missed them, but still we have proof that the trainers are still involved.

We went up to a street that overlooks that pens and filmed all the boats driving into the Cove. Once they were out of sight and we established that the gutting barge was in place and they fully intended to kill today, we dashed back over to the Cove. From where we were the gutting barge looked like it was in a different location… So once back at the Cove my dad went looking for Ron, I was walking around alone for the first time  EVER at the Cove. Filming everything that was going on. One guy from the mayors office walked over and tried to see what I was filming over my shoulder being all secretive… but he breathed too hard so I caught him. It wasn’t as crazy as it’s been, but there were about three film crews and tons of police and coast guard running around.

We grabbed Ron and the three of us and a Camera guy that caught on ran up to Tsunami park (NOT an easy run haha), to the viewing platform… but the trees were in the way. So we decided to go to Rock Trail that we now call Le-Trail.

We spent two hours at the trail… what I saw in those two hours I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Except the dolphin hunters and killers, I wish them a world of hurt. I have been putting off and putting off writing this part of my blog, because I really can’t stand to re-live that right now… but I am going to be watching the video soon enough, so I think that it’s about time I bite the bullet and try to describe the things that I saw.

What CAN I say? I watched boat after boat bring the dead carcasses to the gutting barge. Then drag them up onto the platform… with the fresh blood staining the water red. I saw fishermen waving knifes around, it was obvious what they were doing. What would happen, is a fishermen had these wooden stick like things that must have had metal hooks at the ends… they would cut the slit down the dolphin stomach and then they would use this tool to hold the wound open, making it easy to pull out the guts.

I saw them throwing the smaller/infant dolphins around… because they were lighter, they didn’t need to be dragged around. That was the hardest. It was like it was one of those Salmon at Pike Place Market… being tossed around like a rag doll. THROWING a baby, over its gutted family.

After we decided that the last group had been transfered to a hunter boat heading for the harbor, we all jumped into the car and pulled into the parking lot. Ron and Rex went over towards the slaughter house, my dad and I stayed at the parking lot. They have created this new tarp contraption, it’s like a fort we make when we are kids out of chairs and blankets, except made of tarps. It kept collapsing on them… I got some really good shots of their tarp contraption failing! I noticed out of the corner of my eye a fishermen walking straight towards me… I then realized that I was wearing a windbreaker I borrowed from someone, but it say Crew on it! I don’t think this guy liked the fact that SSCS Crew and “crew” were standing on his dock. I starred right at him and didn’t move my eyes once… he noticed that I wasn’t looking away and literally made a L shape to walk behind my dad. I turned around, crossed my arms, and kept staring… my dad was working with video camera. He didn’t like this either, we had a starring contest for about twenty seconds and then he walked over to his friend on a motorbike. I then heard them saying “American” and pointing to me. Meh, I won a starring contest against a 60 year old man.. hehe. It was nice pissing at least one fishermen off, considering how angry I was from that I had just seen on the gutting barge.

The police soon showed up in the lot and were walking all around, protecting and watching us. I really appreciate this 🙂

We then went into town because I wanted footage of the packaged meat coming out of the parking lot. There were fishermen wandering around the FU lot carrying their knifes, the police were over there to keep them sane. We were photographing them coming in and out of the slaughter house, from several different places. It wasn’t long until Sour Face found out and then would crack the FU door to take pictures of us. Rex and I had been watching him do this for a while, so we counted to three and faced our camera right at him at the same time. You would have thought we drew down on him or something; this guy flipped out and then went to hide behind his door! It was SO funny. Soon he was cracking the door again then quickly hiding again… one time the door got locked in the open position and this arm with a white sleeve reached out and closed the door.

Rex was sitting under this tree, across the street from the slaughter house. You can see from the picture that this is a really pretty spot they set up this sitting area, but you look over thirty feet and you know the horror that is happening behind closed doors. It’s so strange… sick really.

Well, we went back to the Cove a little later. The gutting barge and the nets were still up. Even though the Cove was empty. They went to do their dirty work, hiding it with all of their man power, before coming back to clean up their mess. Yesterday morning a large family of dolphins were swimming and playing freely. Yesterday mid day they were trapped inside a shallow Cove. This morning the mothers probably fed their young… for the last time. By ten o’clock this morning around 59 lives were lost. Souls were taken elsewhere. Even those of the infants, how can this holocaust be described as anything less than murder?

Right now I am working on uploading everything from today. I am going to make a really short two minute video from today. Kinda like a teaser, please don’t expect any thing else until tomorrow morning my time.

For the Animals,

Elora Malama

The meeting with the Mayor of Taiji, Scott West, Richard O’barry, Jeff Pantukoff, and me is November 2nd .

Please remember to read my Dad’s updates on the SeaShepherd website — There are also photos that will soon be uploaded there, you can’t see anywhere else.

To subscribe to my blog please post a comment and ask for email updates.

My Youtube Video should be up tomorrow with the slaughter footage KahakaiGirl.

Check out Rex Ray’s blog, please!

24 Replies to ““There is nothing more gut-wrenching and heartbreaking than seeing a heartless soul throwing the dead carcass of a three foot long infant Dolphin onto a gutting barge.”- E Malama”

  1. I picked up a really thought provoking quote from a video posted by a Sea Shepherd supporter on facebook a day or two ago, I know she is on the friend list of some of the other Cove Guardians so you may have seen it already:

    Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is below him? Pierre Troubetzkoy

    Stay true to your purpose, you have made a difference already, you are making a difference now and you will make an even bigger difference in the months and years to come.

    There is another quote in the same video, “If not you, who?” You are doing what lots of people – including me – either can’t or won’t. Keep doing it Elora.

  2. thank elona for your fantastic report. you and your father is fantastic. all italy see your important job.

  3. I was working on my comment to your previous blog entry when I found out from e-mail that you just posted a new entry. I came over here and read it all. I can truly imagine how difficult it must be for you to try to describe the events that take place on slaughter days. The emotional trauma that hits you as you witness everything that is unfolding before your eyes becomes so profound that it’s hard to grasp everything in writing! This is something that I can totally relate. Your very own quote about the most precious little one being tossed like a rag doll really says it all! Whenever a tragic episode occurs over in Taiji, I can really feel it here! I am truly so very angry that the fishermen would be so heartless enough to just keep up with their most sinister tradition! I am just as upset about the different types of dolphins being killed. I so very dearly love all types of dolphins – from the river dolphins to the bottle-noses. It really gets to me that the fishermen would do it over and over from one year to the next without stepping back to reconsider their most cruel acts.

    That one photo that you took of the fisherman holding the knife in front of him: I wish I could just snatch the knife and stab him right in his pot belly! That way, he’d appreciate what the beloved dolphins have to experience and endure while they’re being held captive and stabbed to death!

    Every time I get on my laptop, I’d first log into my Facebook for your updates, respond to them, and post relevant news on my page. (I do hope you got my comments OK.) And then I’d read your new blog entry, as well as the SSCS updates. Thanks for letting me know about Rex’s blog so that I can go and catch up with what he has to say about the most tragic events.

    You describe everything so vividly that I feel as if I was actually there to witness everything that’s going on. Your detailed accounts and photos are so profound that I find it hard to keep my emotions in check. Anger is one of the emotions that I feel right now. And I know you’d understand my need to vent a bit here.


  4. I cannot help but the ugly blue tarps, the blood, and everything else that goes with the slaughter is such a huge ‘black eye’! They just look so out of place in the beauty of the sea as seen from Taiji, as well as from the Cove and elsewhere along the coast. Comparing your photos taken during the quiet times and during the most tragic times shows a great deal of difference!

    Wild cetaceans – whales, dolphins, and porpoises – swimming in freedom out in the blue sea without being disturbed in any way would make the natural environment in Japan all the more beautiful!


  5. Thank you, Elora. Thanks to your Dad and all of the Cove Guardians for being our eyes. I wish I could be there with you but I am with you there in spirit.

    1. Elora, those babies are so small!! Do you think they could be from pregnant mothers and they find them when they cut them open and take out their guts? They looked too small to have even been born yet…

  6. these small minded “fishermen” are causing so much trouble – have tried to see their point of view, but they are ridiculous savage beasts.

  7. I am really having a difficult time with this whole business over there and I can not fathom how they could kill the babies….to me this is so disgusting! I hate the fact that they kill any Dolphin, these people are very uneducated and this must be a very backward town!

  8. Elora, you are very brave to report what you see. I thought you would like to know that the google ad above your sideshow is for a “swim with the dolphins” experience. I don’t know if you can do anything about it, but I thought you should know. Keep up your reporting!

  9. Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope to come out there sometime and stand vigil with all of you. You are doing a great service by reminding us, everyday, that these horrible acts continue. Stay safe.

  10. “The Earth does not belong to man; Man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”—Chief Seattle

    Thank you for being the Dolphin’s guardian.

  11. You know, every time I see or hear of things like that I just get the feeling that Mankind is destined for self-destruction… we are killing our oceans, we are killing animals that have so much to teach… we are lost in our own insignificance.

    I also got one good news though, last month I wrote an email to the german chancellor Angela Merkel and I just got an email from her assistent saying that they are going to increase pressure on Japan and IWC… I know that is not much, but we have to believe that if every country do the same those stupid beings are going to stop that massacre.


    1. Hey Danielle that is really good to hear what you just said about hearing back from Angela Merkel….very encouraging. This all has to stop eventually as people start to unite more and the voices get louder against these atrocities. May it be very soon.

  12. Hi Elora,

    I am trying to find out what happens to the dolphins after the slaughter house…where do they take them? I think you and your dad followed the truck yesterday (26th). I really would like to find out what businesses are involved….if you have a chance please let me know! Be well, all of you!

  13. These Japanese fishermen make me sick to my stomach. Japan has always been a cruel nation. Look up the history and see what they did to Koreans and Chinese. The government wouldn’t even admit it until recently. They just decide to leave it out of their history. You would think the newer generation of Japanese would be more civilized and have more compassion. I guess not. I know it is just a small town, but the entire nation of Japan is doing nothing.

    Taiji kills about 2000 dolphins annually, but Japan kills over 20000. Who, what, how are the other 20000 dolphins killed? Is is documented?

    The cove guardians are doing a good job. Hopefully more and more people around the world will realize just how heartless and cruel the Japanese are (Just ask any Chinese and Korean) We need to stop support them and buying their products. The world has to hit them where it hurts.

  14. Yesterday it must have been a very difficult day for you and the others at the Cove…you do not know how much i would like to be there!..Keep up the good work..from the land, we are trying to do whatever we can to support you…a huge hug ❤

  15. thank you Elora. i can barely witness this from a distance, and still am not able to watch “the cove” you are so very brave. i hope the physical act of having to “hide” what they are doing, both the dolphin killers with their blue tarps and the “trainers” sneaking around and trying to avoid you.. even run away from you is a learning for the people involved. i hope it creates the seeds for change in their hearts.

  16. Hay Elora,
    This is my first time writing, but ive been reading all of your posts.
    Id just like to say that you are so brave, thanks for looking over these dolphins the world would be so much of a better place if more people were like you.
    Please let them know that the world is indeed watching.
    Best wishes,
    Sarah (from all the way in New Zealand)

  17. Thank you for continuously keeping us up to date on what is happening in Taiji. Lord knows it can’t be an easy thing to do and be around all the time.

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